ATO to contact clients over STP irregularities

The Tax Office is currently reaching out to clients who are reporting through Single Touch Payroll over some irregularities, with advisers urged to assist with ensuring they are compliant.

The ATO has begun emailing Single Touch Payroll employers who have either ceased reporting for over 45 days or have submitted employees under multiple payroll or Business Management Software (BMS) IDs.

According to the ATO, these reporting errors may cause their employees to see incorrect, incomplete or multiple entries in their income statements.

BAS and tax agents with business clients who have been contacted by the Tax Office have been urged to encourage their clients to check their data is accurate.

Agents should also remind them that they must finalise their employees’ end-of-year payroll information before 31 July, even if employees have ceased working for them or they have dropped below the threshold for reporting.

“If you have individual clients whose information is incomplete or incorrect, we are encouraging them to wait until their employer has finalised their STP reports before lodging their return,” the ATO said.

With the introduction of STP and the extension to 31 July for employers to make a finalisation declaration for the 2018–19 financial year, the ATO has advised clients to hold off on lodging their tax returns.

“Most employers have until 31 July 2019 to finalise their employees’ income statements, so we strongly encourage taxpayers to wait a few weeks before lodging their tax return,” ATO assistant commissioner Karen Foat said.

“If you lodge your tax return before your income statement is tax-ready, your employer might make changes, and you may need to lodge an amendment. In some cases, additional tax and interest may be payable.”